It's Alive

Second Lithphane:

The text is too bright, I added it to the picture as white it needs to be a tad darker…the bit went through the material on part of the text and top of the head. I noticed a tiny bit of play on the Z-Axis pulley as this cut which probably is the reason for the diagonal lines.
Using a 0.5mm radius tapered ball nose in 1 pass
50 IPM
45 Plunge rate
10% stepover
4.5 x 6.5 total cut area
7:16 to cut.


These are really cool! What material are you using? Also I’ve never really looked into this technique before but what CAM software are you using to create these?

This material is Candlestone, very similar to Corian. I bought it from Ebay, however they have a website where they sell it here:

The two I’ve done were created entirely in Aspire (minus the text I added to the Yoda pic, which was done with MS Paint :slight_smile: ). I will probably buy PicEngrave Pro and give that a shot, just to see how it works. Aspire works great, but I am always looking for other options.

The 5" x 7" of Yoda was a 760k G-Code file, and I used a nightly build of Universal G-Code Sender to send to the X-Carve.


Very interesting! Thanks for the info!

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Forgot to post the unlit version of Yoda, so here are unlit and backlit.


The level of detail here is startling.

Can you explain a little about how your generating these in Aspire?

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It is truly amazing when the backlight gets turned on and the image just pops out.

I followed the steps from this post:

There is a PDF document in the first post and I just went step by step.

My original picture for the Yoda Lithophane from a google search…I was amazed to see the detail in the cut lithophane.


I found a post on CNCZone that recommended scrubbing the cut side with soap and water with a nylon brush then a shot of clear lacquer…I will try the soap and brush on the giraffe to see if there is a difference…Yoda is too fragile to scrub with a brush…I’ll have to cut it again leaving a little more material and try again.

Another go at the Lithophane…

Total area carved 4.5" x 6.5".
85 IPM with a 50 plunge.
0.5mm radius tapered ball nose bit.
15% stepover.
All done in a single pass the carve took 4 hours and 36 minutes.

Original picture found with the help of google images:



Different light:


Cut it again, trying to get rid of the diagonal lines…I bumped up the z-axis current, this improved the cut, but did not get rid of the lines completely. A further increase of power caused a stall so backed off. At a loss at this point…any ideas?

Now that I have the two cut images side by side, I see the lines are in the same places on the lithophanes. Hmmmm…

Sounds like the same type of problem as the post with all the tiki masks. @Cnccookbook just replied on there with some ideas.

Is the cutter going diagonally in the direction of the lines? I wonder what would happen if you roughed it out with a larger bit to minimize the amount that has to be removed by the smaller bit.

The lines are in line with the cut direction. I have tested cutting a pocket first and I get the same result.

Hmmm. Depth of cut? Backlash? I’m looking forward to seeing what you find out. Even with those lines though, that’s a kick-■■■ lith. As soon as my kids and wife see it I know what they’re going to want me to do, which means I’m going to have to learn how to do the grayscale layering magic… :smile:


I’m going to try a slightly larger bit (as suggested by @AllenMassey) and keep tweaking things to see what I come up with.

But it does look pretty damn cool…lol

Yes, I could, but no way…they take about 4.5 hours now.

It does look very cool indeed.

@RobertA_Rieke - My wife is already asking me why I have not made her any “light pictures” yet.


Yep. 0.5mm radius tapered ballnose with a 15% stepover.

I think we have a winner here…larger bit, 1.5mm tapered ballnose and dropped the plunge to 40.


Wow, thats a little bit scary! Nice job.

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